Since Decree 19/2002, The Royal Court in Bahrain Loots, Gifts and Sells Public Property
2022-12-15 - 8:12 am
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): In Bahrain, all state property pursuant to Decree 19 of 2002, issued by the king at the beginning of his rule, is at the royal court's disposal. Since said decree, the royal court has been looting, gifting and selling without any accountability or oversight.
Bahrain's total area was expanded 18% due to land-reclamation operations, more than half of which took place during the reign of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. He took some to keep himself, granted parts to his sons, and bestowed other plots on family members and allied tribes.
Marine ecologist Dr. Mohammed Jum'a Al-Rumaid confirms that the land mass of Bahrain has increased by about 18%, and the number of Bahraini islands has grown, from 33 natural islands to about 84 natural and artificial islands.
Most of this area was certainly turned into the ruling family's private property without any cost, and the Al Khalifa family did not even pay for the cost of rock and soil used in the land filling process.
The Financial Times reports that land reclamation has increased dramatically in the last decade, and millions of dollars have been invested in these operations, noting that the area of Bahrain has expanded due to land-reclamation operations by about 12.5% relative to its area since 1987.
The newspaper says that nearly 90% of the land reclaimed from the sea land has been turned into private property, and that less than 10% of the coast of the tiny island remains open to the public.
The newspaper states that Bahrain's royal family has built up vast private wealth after embarking on development projects on disputed land in the Gulf kingdom, adding that private companies owned by the King of Bahrain and his family, including Premier Group, have acquired shares in projects while no payments were made to the Treasury by such private companies, as they were awarded these undersea plots.
The group owns dozens of massive properties in Europe and the United States. The company owns at least 15 properties, including four hotels, in the UK alone, including the 219-bedroom Four Seasons Hotel at Park Lane and the Hanbury Manor Hotel, a luxury country resort.
A parliamentary report in 2010 revealed that ownership of 65 square kilometers had been turned since 2003 from state ownership into private ownership without any payments in return to the state Treasury-the value of real estate turned into private ownership was estimated at about $40 billion (15 billion dinars).
A financial analyst says that since 2010 the ruling family has reaped no less than $10 billion (3 billion and 780 million dinars) from undersea plots and real estate projects built on these lands.
It is noteworthy that huge areas of water filled only around Muharraq Island exceed a total area of 25 square kilometers.
The analyst adds that the ownership of those land plots was transferred to groups owned by the king and his sons (the Crown Prince, Nasser and Khalid) in particular, while the ownership of other properties north of the gulf island was given to his wife.
The King granted himself, by Decree 19/2002, the right to give away state-owned lands. The king is not held accountable for the gifts he grants, and he has the right to dispose of any "land owned by no one pursuant to real estate ownership documents and final court rulings."
For instance, the King endowed Muhammad bin Mubarak (the former foreign minister) with an agricultural land plot in Bilad Al-Qadeem, south of Manama, extending over an area of 11,000 square meters, at a cost of more than $13 million.
Ahmed bin Abdullah Al Khalifa (brother of the head of the Survey and Land Registration Bureau) also obtained a donation to carry out land filling in the Jau area and develop a housing project worth over $130 million.
From Durrat Al-Bahrain in the south, passing through the stolen lands of the University of Bahrain to Bahrain Bay in the north, and from Diyar Al-Muharraq (the King's Residence) in the east to Umm An-Naasan in the west, they are all at the king's disposal.
The king offers whomever he wishes these lands and the waterfronts that he finds to be too much for the unfortunate citizens to enjoy. All he cares about is his family members and entourage and as long as they own everything, it doesn't matter to him if the people are deprived of everything.